President calls for Science led Christianity, Islam in COVID-19 Fight
STATE HOUSE, ENTEBBE: President Yoweri Museveni has said the biggest problem driving the COVID-19 pandemic is not doing our mandate of using the knowledge which God gave us to influence people.
“Science is understanding the work of God. These viruses are part of nature and we, as people created in Gods image, can know how to deal with them. 2000 years ago people knew how to avoid leprosy. When lepers were healed by Jesus, he told them to report themselves to the high priests so that they are cleared to mix with other people,” he said… adding, “Refusing to do our mandate and always praying, I think there is an issue there”.
The President said all we need to do is understand Gods mysteries in science.
“I always believe that the best way to influence people is by example. ‘Avoiding’ is a solution. This virus is avoidable. If you don’t do what you are supposed to do…if you only say pray! Pray go make mistakes and then come and pray. It is wrong. We need a science led Church. Science is the power of God,” he said.
The President was today speaking at the 4th National Prayer Session On Covid-19 Global Pandemic at a virtual ceremony held at Entebbe State House.
The prayers were held under the theme “God is our refuge and Strength, a very present help in trouble,” (Psalms 46:1).
“If Allah helps you, none can overcome you, and if He forsakes you, who is there after Him that can help you? And in Allah (alone) let believers put their trust,” (Holy Quran 3:160)
The main celebrant was Apostle Dr. Joseph Serwadda, the presiding Apostle Born Again Faith in Uganda.
The prayers were held via zoom from six selected worship places including Gaddafi National Mosque, Old Kampala (Uganda Muslim Supreme Council), All Saints Cathedral, Kampala (Church of Uganda), St. Nicholas Cathedral, Namungoona (Uganda Orthodox Church), SDA Church, Kireka Hill (Seveth-day Adventist Uganda Union), St. Mary’s Cathedral Rubaga Kampala (Uganda Episcopal Conference) and the Miracle Centre Cathedral, Rubaga (Bon Again, Pentecostal and Evangelicals).
“This pandemic is illuminating the actions of the human race. Akawuka katutade fena kukigezo. It is testing the human race. I was listening to summons and prayers..there is something which I strongly believe in which has not come out. We must establish dominion over nature. He created us in his own imagine. In the bible, 2000 years ago, Lepers who came and met Jesus shouted from a distance. Master have mercy on us! This is from the bible I didn’t pick it from Rwakitura. It is in the bible, how to avoid sickness. But people don’t listen. They don’t do their mandate,” he said.
The President singled out intransigence of some people in the fight against the pandemic which has led to soaring infections among the public.
“When it started, I shouted to you. I blew the horn as your leader. On 18th of March, I told you how to avoid the virus. When the Archbishop of Canterbury came here I did not shake his hands. They said there were blessings there, I said no,” he said.
The President said even with the carelessness, 846 people have died in one and a half years, most of them in the last two weeks.
“In New York city over 1000 were dying everyday. Why, because we had listened to the command of God…establish dominion over nature,” he said.
On the issue of religious leaders being essential workers, the President acknowledged that Church leaders were not mentioned as essential workers.
“Is parental work essential work? For example, me giving guidance to my children, is it essential or not? Parental Work/Grandfatherly work essential? Probably when discussing this we should decide whether its just essential or must be urgent. The whole strategy of avoiding is reducing numbers. If you say so many are essential, then what do you do? Issue is numbers and crowding,” he said.
On progress by Ugandan scientists on research and innovation, the President reported to the country that we are moving very well on side of diagnostics and therapeutics.
“We are moving very well. We now have the ability to make own diagnostics. We seem to be moving on therapeutics. Apparently, we seem to have some things not in other parts of the world. Some of our Scientists are beginning to see the values. Just waiting for some days, maybe weeks, we may have some solutions. Our people also working on our vaccines,” he said.
The President appealed to Ugandans to listen to the strategy of “avoiding.”
“I want to appeal to you please. Be careful, listen to the strategy of avoiding until we get to the vaccine and treatment. What we are doing is temporarily strategy,” he said.
His Eminence Sheik Ramadhan Mubaje, the Grand Mufti of Uganda and chair of the Inter-religious council of Uganda commended the President for involving God in Nation Building and in the fight against COVID19.
He appreciated the security forces enforcing lockdown and Sops for being professional and urged them to work with community leaders to ensure joint efforts in curbing the pandemic.
He urged government to investigate the prohibitive cost of COVID 19 test and treatment especially in private health facilities, describing it as exploitation where they look at the sick as a business.
The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Janet Kataaha Museveni gave the closing prayer.
“We have faced many challenges over the years, whether they be social, economic or political. In every situation, as we have called on Your Name, You have been Faithful to hear and answer us. You delivered us from HIV, from Kony, from Ebola, Marburg, locusts, floods, landslides, floating islands and so many other threats and challenges. It is because of Your mercy that we are not consumed,” she prayed.
The prayer session was also attended by the Vice President Hon. Jesca Alupo, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Anita Among, the Prime Minister Robinah Nabanjja and religious leaders of various religious denominations.